Explaining metabolism in four minutes or less

Day-to-day life takes a lot of energy.

That’s where metabolism comes in. Metabolism keeps us going by powering each and every biological process, from regulating appetite to ensuring the heart has enough energy to beat.

It can even play a role in disease — some conditions, such as diabetes, are wholly metabolic in origin, while others, like cancer, are now known to be influenced by dysfunctions in metabolism. Even Parkinson’s disease, a neurological movement disorder that steals away the ability to move, now appears to be caused at least in part by disruptions in cellular metabolism.

Bottom line — metabolism affects every other facet of our biology, making it an incredibly important area of study. That’s why, earlier this fall, Van Andel Research Institute launched a new research program to explore exactly how metabolism works and how we can leverage it to improve health and better predict, prevent, diagnose and treat disease (read more about it here).

In the latest edition of our Whiteboard Series, we take a look at how all of our metabolic processes keep our bodies up and running, and what can happen when things go wrong.